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Diversity & Inclusion: A roadmap for relentless delivery at 84.51°

Diversity & Inclusion: A roadmap for relentless delivery at 84.51°

 September 06, 2019

84.51° is a very innovative and exciting company. They help brands connect with their customers by using sophisticated tools, technology and data analytics to help their retail partners develop, nurture and embrace customer-driven relationships.

And, not only is their work impressive. At 84.51° there is a strong and tenacious focus on continuously forging a diverse and inclusive work culture that is also truly inspiring. 

Where Women Work caught up with Terron Wilson who is Diversity & Inclusion Talent Manager for 84.51° to learn more about the company's cultural journey and priorities.

Terron, who is deeply committed to the company's agenda, kindly penned her thoughts about how 84.51° is taking responsibility for driving an inclusive workplace - from challenging bias, engaging the leadership team, collaborating with colleagues, establishing structures and a roadmap, through to monitoring action and accountability. The quest for an inclusive mindset at 84.51° provides great insight. Here's what Terron says.

Diversity is woven into the very fabric of 84.51° 

By Terron Wilson, Diversity & Inclusion Talent Manager

Diversity and inclusion are not just boxes we check at 84.51° - they are woven into the fabric of who we are and where we're headed. We are actively creating a culture where all feel heard, respected, valued, and have the freedom to contribute freely. While we have come a long way since our Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) journey began in 2016, we are still working on our roadmap to continue our mission towards becoming a destination for diverse, driven and authentic minds.

Our journey started with a non-traditional approach to D&I. In June 2016, our leadership team went offsite to fully immerse themselves in a D&I exploratory experience. The team dug into the impact of implicit bias and privilege, and participated in a poverty simulation to disrupt their thinking about inclusion and help define the business case for D&I. The leadership team committed to aligning to our business case in that session, and this impactful experience led to a series of actions across all levels of the business to drive engagement in Diversity & Inclusion.

In September 2016, the 84.51° leadership team created the Insightful Inclusion Council. This council is comprised of highly diverse, high-performing team members who represent all the various types of diversity – both traditional and non-traditional – working together to make 84.51° a better, more inclusive work environment. One of the first actions beyond setting a vision and key areas of focus was to get a baseline on where we were for Inclusion. The Council commissioned an inclusion assessment, complete with one-on-one interviews, data collection, and ethnographic evaluation. Both the inclusion assessment and ethnographic evaluation helped to begin shaping our D&I roadmap.

The results of the assessment were shared in late 2017 during company-wide D&I workshops. The workshops introduced the science behind unconscious bias and defined diversity broadly using a tool called Hermann Brain Dominance to understand how diversity plays into thinking styles. It was a highly interactive session, which engaged associates through personalized case studies based on 84.51° data from the inclusion assessment.

These workshops ended with crowdsourcing recommendations for how the organization and our associates could contribute to making 84.51° more diverse and inclusive. Our Insightful Inclusion Council gathered these insights, data, and associate recommendations and defined our declarations and four focus areas: Leadership, People, Environment, and Practices. Thus began our 3-year D&I roadmap, which was put into action in April 2018.

Once the roadmap was in place, 84.51° took another step toward our Diversity & Inclusion commitment by creating my role of D&I Talent Manager. I focus on fostering and elevating our D&I efforts, as well as managing our D&I roadmap to ensure we meet our milestones.

As a data insights company, monitoring progress is obvious

Monitoring progress is important – and as a data insights company, we have a high need to understand what the data is telling us. The Insightful Inclusion Council has helped identify ways to track progress and leverage external benchmarks to know how we are progressing our mission of being more diverse and inclusive. Our progress is being monitored and measured through a bi-annual inclusion survey sent to all associates. The feedback, suggestions, and input from our teams help us to optimize our D&I roadmap focus areas and strategies.

While we are watching the numbers, we know we are making progress because of how many associates are engaged in our mission to be more diverse and engaged. Beyond our leadership team being committed – we have seen our organic efforts around D&I blossom since starting our journey. People-led teams focused on D&I have formed – such as Women’s EDGE (including sub-committees, Women of Color and Women in Tech), MARC (Men Advocating Real Change), and ITOPIA (support introverts). These groups provide our associates with the space and freedom to grow themselves and others at 84.51°.

8451 MARC Group - diversity roadmap

Continuing to educate and elevate conversations

We’ve made progress, but our journey is just getting started. In the years to come, we will continue to drive action and accountability from raising awareness to changes in behavior that foster and sustain an inclusive workplace. We will continue to educate and elevate conversations of unconscious bias and cultural competence. Additionally, we will build our presence with Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs) and other organizations that allow us to meet and hire more diverse talent who are like-minded and want to work for an employer where everyone feels like they belong.

Love data? Love diversity?

So, perhaps 84.51° could be a company for you? If you enjoy putting customers first in everything you do, this company should certainly be on your A list.

A spirit of Limitless Minds, Fearless Hearts and Relentless Delivery drives everything they do.

Research their current job vacancies to learn more about the range of skills and experience 84.51° seeks from its applicants - and check out the perks, they're pretty fabulous too!

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Disclosure: Where Women Work researches and publishes insightful evidence about how its paid member organizations support women's equality.

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